Fall on ski slope led to death of car sales manager

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AN experienced snowboarder who fell backwards while standing on a ski slope, breaking a bone in his back, died in hospital several days later from complications, an inquest heard.

Cornelius McLaughlin, 41, had stopped on a piste in an Alpine resort to wait for some friends but fell backwards on to compacted ice when his board “flicked out”.

He badly damaged a bone in his spine but, following surgery in Grenoble, was thought to be making good progress towards recovery and had taken his first few steps using a walking frame.

His wife had flown in and was with him during a physiotherapy session when he collapsed.

He was found to have suffered a pulmonary embolism and subsequent stroke which had left him with brain damage.

Mr McLaughlin, a sales manager with Peugeot who was raised and educated in Garforth, near Leeds, did not regain consciousness.

In a statement, his wife Beth told the hearing that her husband was an “extremely competent” snowboarder who always wore safety equipment and did not take risks.

She described how he had collapsed while taking a few steps. He died on February 3 last year, just a few days after the accident.

Mrs McLaughlin described her husband as a wonderful man who had many friends and was widely admired.

“I take solace that he had such a significant positive impact on our lives. Our lives have been enriched by us knowing him.”

West Yorkshire coroner David Hinchliff said it would be normal for patients immobilised after an accident of this kind to receive anti-clotting drugs and to be given a stocking to wear.

However, Mr Hinchliff said the evidence from the French authorities was that the blood-thinning drugs were due to be given the day he died.

They had not been given earlier because of the risk of bleeding during surgery, the inquest was told.

Mr Hinchliff said “a cynic” might suggest it was a coincidence that the authorities had suggested that the drugs were due to be given the day he died.

He recorded a verdict Mr McLaughlin had died as a result of an accident.